May 13, 2015

The Forget-Me-Not Summer - Leila Howland

The Forget-Me-Not Summer book cover
The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Source/Format: Edelweiss (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

Sisters Marigold, Zinnia, and Lily Silver can’t wait for summer vacation. Twelve-year-old Marigold is hoping to get her first kiss, while Zinnia, eleven, has plenty of time on her hands and will most likely spend it in Marigold’s shadow. And though five-year-old Lily may look like an angel, she has a knack for mischief.

But the sisters’ summer plans crumble when their parents send them to visit their aunt Sunny on Cape Cod. Small-town life is not what these L.A. girls had in mind, and they must adjust to sharing one room and living without a TV. Eventually, though, Aunt Sunny—along with her cheery attitude and delicious brownies—wins them over. Before they know it, the girls are cracking lobster shells at clambakes, making new friends, and even organizing a local talent show...all while learning how to band together as the strongest version of themselves: sisters.

Leila Howland has a magical ability, folks. She writes awesome books about summers away in small towns, with flawed yet lovable characters. She accomplished this (twice) with her young adult novels, Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red. And this year, she does it again with The Forget-Me-Not Summer, her debut middle grade novel about three sisters who spend a few weeks during summer with their aunt in Cape Cod. 

Readers will enjoy getting to know Marigold, Zinnie and Lily. These three sisters are simply girls who are in the process of learning about themselves, growing up and making mistakes. Marigold is the eldest, a gal who aspires to be a famous actress and is caught between being a kid and a teen. Zinnie is the middle child, and she often feels ignored or not as special as her sisters – even though she happens to be funny and vivacious and creative. And then there’s Lily, the youngest (and most adorable), who has a relatively easygoing, intelligent understanding, and the natural innocence of a child. What’s most impressive, particularly about Zinnie and Marigold, is that Howland manages to capture them completely, good and bad and everything in between. Though you might not always like either one, you’ll certainly feel drawn to them as individuals and as a trio of siblings.

The Forget-Me-Not Summer has a pretty straightforward plot. Over the course of their three-week escapade, Zinnie and Marigold learn about themselves and about their relationships, particularly as siblings. Many times, something would remind me of my relationships with my sisters; Howland’s depiction rings of authenticity. With some external factors present to move things forward - like a talent show, a boy, their aunt’s traditions and eccentricities - it’s both a heartwarming and fun read. The Forget-Me-Not Summer is a great summery middle grade read, with a special focus on family and being true to yourself. I’d definitely recommend it!


  1. I love the cover of this book!

  2. Ahh! After recently discovering and falling in love with the Nantucket books, I am immediately adding this book to my TBR!


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